Graduate College

Graduate Council Minutes #861

February 13, 1997

 

Present: Bankston, Bleile (for Hageman), Chao, Crew, Finder, Heller (for Dedrick), Jackson, Kashef (for Kirmani), Krapfl, Osman, Raiklin, Safford, Somervill, Stefanich, Walker
 
Absent: Decker, East
 
Guests: Virginia Berg (Biology), Mohammed Fahmy (Industrial Technology), Gene Lutz (Center for Social and Behavioral Research), Donna Thompson (HPELS), Roy Unruh (Physics), Jack Wilkinson (Math)
 
Finder moved that Minutes #860 be approved and published. Motion was seconded by Chao and passed.
 
Somervill discussed the need to appoint a secretary to assist Nicky with taking the minutes. David Walker volunteered his services. Somervill wanted to be sure the Council had a voice as minutes were taken, rather than relying on Graduate College staff. The Council responded favorably to Walker's volunteering, and stated that they had ample access to the minutes.
 
Those who have not been getting the Graduate Council meeting information or minutes over e-mail should give their correct e-mail addresses to Dorothy in the Graduate College to remedy this problem.
 
Somervill stated that he was never opposed to the incentive fund distribution system; he does not want to end the current distribution system. He only suggested that if the current program was to end this year, that the Graduate College seek a larger proportion of the monies. He was pleased to note a new proposal approved by the Cabinet that allocated $64,000 toward 2 positions to be shared between the Graduate College and the Development Office. This would provide for a grant writer/proposal development person and additional post-award grant administration assistance. Somervill is withdrawing his previous request dealing with incentive funds due to the new development.
 
Somervill stated that the issue of incentive funds needs to be taken up with the central administration, not the Graduate College. There still is a concern that the two-year incentive distribution program might end. Lutz expressed a view that two years is not enough time to evaluate the program. Somervill suggested that the Council invite the Provost to discuss this issue. Lutz then pointed out that we should be looking at distributing 100% of the incentive funds, and not just adjustments within 35%. Lutz's third point was directed at federal accounting rules. He explained changes that have been made dealing with indirect costs, the issue is how ALL of the indirect costs are distributed. Somervill stated that holding departments accountable for how indirect dollars were spent was not working. Lutz then brought up the thesis and dissertation reader position, and inquired why this person was not paid with hard money instead of indirect funds. It is an instructional function and should be a line item in the budget. Somervill said that there was no other money available to pay for this essential service to graduate students. Lutz concluded with a suggestion that the Council adopt strong proposals on these issues. Crew asked the Council if they would like to meet with the Provost at one of the next meetings. The consensus was very positive.
 
Berg stated that her lab is dependent on federal funds, yet there is little support by the institution. There is no equipment repair and maintenance funding and, in turn, department budgets are stretched tightly. Commitment must come from the top, even through small acts of encouragement. Research does not serve the narrow interests of a few faculty members but is integral to educational functions. Fahmy pointed out that faculty need to insist on university recognition of research support NOW while budget decentralization is an issue and reallocation models are being constructed. Crew closed this discussion stating that he will follow up on inviting the Provost to an upcoming meeting.
 
Stefanich discussed the Graduate Faculty meeting, set for March 31st in room 247 SEC. There is scheduled to be a reception from 3-3:30 for Outstanding Thesis and Outstanding Dissertation awardees in the SEC lobby. At 3:30, the awards will be presented, followed by Glen Hansen and James Bodensteiner. Their presentation is entitled: Market Driven Graduate Programs, Opportunities, and Issues.
 
Crew moved that item #5 on the agenda, Graduate College Curriculum Committee, be moved to the next meeting due to the hour, and motioned to adjourn the meeting at 4:41 pm.
 
Respectfully submitted,
 
Nicky Meints
Secretary
 
Next meeting will be February 27, 1997 at 3:30 pm in Seerley 3